This is the next post in our handling of Austin personal injury cases. Our last post discussed the discovery process and how it is used to acquire necessary evidence. It is important to ensure that you retain an attorney who understands the discovery process and will use it to build a strong case on your behalf. In this article we will address another important topic – what to expect when your case proceeds to trial. We cannot stress enough the need to retain an experienced personal injury lawyer in order to ensure that your trial is handled correctly.
Texas personal injury trials will be decided by a fact finder, whether a judge or a jury. The Plaintiff will present his or her case first. The defendants will then present their cases and the Plaintiff will conclude through a rebuttal. The case will begin with the attorneys choosing the jury from a pool of potential candidates. Each attorney will get to ask potential jurors questions, a process known as voir dire. Each attorney will then get to “challenge” a certain number of jurors, meaning that they will be removed from the pool. Jurors may not be challenged for discriminatory reasons such as race, religion, or gender. Once the jury has been selected, then opening statements will be made. Testimony will then begin.
You will require the assistance of an experienced personal injury attorney when your case proceeds to trial. Your counsel will need to be knowledgeable about the rules of evidence and procedure so that your case is presented properly. Failing to understand proper trial procedure can mean evidence not being admitted or seen by the jury. In other words, important aspects of your case may not be considered by the jury when they enter deliberations. The determination of liability or of damages can often hinge on a specific fact. When interviewing lawyers, the Plaintiff should inquire with regard to that prospective attorney’s trial experience.
It is also important that your counsel prepare you for trial. In an injury case, the victim is going to need to testify about the accident and how their life has changed as a result. You must ensure that your counsel is in regular contact with you throughout the process. You attorney should also meet with you before trial to ensure that you are ready to testify and that you do not feel overwhelmed during the Court proceeding. Failure to properly prepare a Plaintiff can lead to a disaster at trial.
Dan Christensen is an Austin personal injury lawyer with over twenty years of experience. A former prosecutor and JAG Corps officer, Dan has tried hundreds of cases and knows how to present a case to the jury. He understands that this is a stressful time in your life and our office will take your case seriously. Contact us today to speak with an attorney. We also service Travis County cities which include Rollingwood, Round Rock, Elgin, Jonestown, Manor, Bee Cave, Lago Vista, Sunset Valley, Lakeway, Creedmoor, the Williamson County cities of Georgetown, Cedar Park, and Leander, as well as other areas of Texas.